Just like humans, cattle can be poisoned by toxic plants. Since cattle are natural foragers, it can be difficult to monitor every bit of plant that goes into their mouths. However, preventative steps must be taken to avoid harm to your cattle. The problem of plant toxicity to herds is more common than you might think, since cases frequently go unreported due to misdiagnosing symptoms as other ailments. Ranchers can take steps to be informed and conscious farmers. Learn more in today’s blog, and find out more information on raising cattle on our Dark Hammock Legacy Ranch’s blog

Hidden Dangers of Toxic Plants

So how can you tell that it’s plant toxicity and not pneumonia, colic, or gastritis? It can be hard for even experts to properly diagnose, and ranchers may not think twice about seeing their cattle eat something. Maybe they’ve seen them eat that plant before. This is due to acute and chronic poisoning, two distinct levels to ingesting and reacting to toxins. Most toxins build up in the cow’s body and won’t produce a reaction until the buildup is severe.

At-Risk Cattle

Some cattle will be more at risk than others. Categories of cattle that should be given specific care and precaution are young cows, cattle in overgrazed pastures or those who have just been moved to a new pasture, cattle grazing near bodies of water, and those near wooded areas.

Prevention and Management

There are several steps ranchers can take in protecting their herd. The first would be to educate yourself on toxic plants in your area. One important note is not to follow the old practice of letting cattle clear weeded or overgrown areas due to hidden dangers that might persist there. Take care to practice pasture management of grasses, and perform frequent inspections. Interested in seeing our pastures? We invite you to join us for an agritour

With precautionary steps taken, ranchers can protect their herd from toxic plants. Prevention methods save ranchers money in the long term, and help ensure the health of their stock. We invite you to learn more about us here at Dark Hammock Legacy Ranch and the work we do on our website.